So Conan is leaving NBC. That’s putting it lightly.
Nick Bilton over at the NYT Bits Blog speculates on what it might mean for Conan to go to the Internet instead of taking a deal at another broadcast network.
There is no way that is going to happen. As Michael Learmonth of Ad Age just tweeted, “Right, and trade $12m a year for $2k an episode”. But is it an either or scenario?
But the fact is that Conan is in the driver’s seat. What if he used his next TV deal as an opportunity to change the web video landscape? What if there was a clause to his next contract that funded a significant amount of original online content that he could use his TV show to promote? Imagine all the Paleforce episodes that could be created. All the Triumph amd Pimpbot 2000 skits you could imagine (if NBC lets him retain that IP).
By giving the network the contractual obligation to fund online content, they would not only be in a position to have to put significant sales resources behind it, but they would also need to innovate to make it worth their while. Big companies don’t typically change the way they do things unless they’re forced to.
Think about it, Conan. You’ve got leverage here. Use it wisely and go down in history as the one that broke the silos. You could nearly double the size of your audience (~2mm on TV) on a daily basis with a move like this (and the right distribution), command additional dollars from advertisers, and offer valuable opportunities for your audiences to engage — not just “view”. More viewers, more engagement, more impressions, more premium inventory. I don’t see anything wrong with that. Do it, and you can count on me being on Team Coco for life.